St. James takes runner-up at Lady Patriot Invitational

The St. James High girls golf team went toe-to-toe with fellow state power Lexington in the Lady Patriot Invitational at Westcott Plantation over the weekend, but in the end the Lady Sharks fell six strokes shy of the Lady Wildcats for the title in the 14-team tournament, 589-595.

After falling one shot behind Lexington in the first round, 300-301, St. James got a scorching 64 from medalist Smith Knaffle, who improved her first round score by six strokes for a two-day total of 134.

Teammates Jordan White finished with a 74 (149), Adrian Anderson closed with a 76 (151) to place them both in the top 10 individually. Katie Smith shot 81 on Saturday and Amanda Meno finished with an 80 on Sunday to account for the St. James foursome’s scores.

But the Lady Sharks couldn’t catch an impressive team effort by Lexington in the final round. Karlee Vardas (148) and Molly Hardwick (151) both contributed 71s, followed by Gracyn Burgees (142) with a 72 and Kennedy Gooding (152) with a 75. All four finished in the top 10 individually.

The third-place team, Blythewood (634) finished 45 strokes off the lead, followed by Bluffton (+78) and Wando (+82) rounding out the top five teams.

Carolina Forest (690) placed ninth, led by seventh-grade phenom Mia Gray’s identical rounds of 77. At age 12, the youngest in the field, she finished 12th individually.

The Sharks and Wildcats will face each other again this weekend in Beaufort for the WSCGA High School Invitational at the Sanctuary on Cat Island.

Photo courtesy of SJHS Athletics

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